So my Australia adventure had come to an emotional clos, however my South American escapade was only just beginning and the first stop on the journey was the capital of Argentina - Buenos Aires. To get there though I had the ordeal of a 38 hour flight. I got on my flight and was sat between a short old Italian lady called Jane and a young Swedish girl called Louise. Now on flights I'm normally one of them guys who just puts their ear phones in, switches on a movie and sleeps, but on this particular journey I was quite the chatty man. As an ice breaker I opened with I hope neither of you snore which got me some easy laughs, then I told Jane all the Italian swear words Luca had taught me, which she found very amusing. Louise then taught me some more Swedish words to add to my repertoire. It went something along the lines of Papa Hangya Up Inka E Tockets - WHICH MEANS MY Dad is hanging up something in the roof, but if you say it fast in Swedish it sounds like you are saying my Dad is pissing in the roof. I then asked Jane and Louise if they were off to Dubai or connecting to go somewhere else. Jane was off to Venice and Louise was off to Bangkok, which to me semt very strange, going to Dubai then to Bangkok made no sense at all. Then they informed me the flight was heading to Bangkok. I was confused and flustered; my flight itinerary said it was Sydney - Dubai, then Dubai - Buenos Aires. Was I on the right plane? Were they having me on? It turned out I was on the right flight, the plane just needed to touch down in Bangkok let the people off who were going there and refuel. So after just over nine hours, a few episodes of Modern Family and the film Jobs we landed in Bangkok. An hour later and we were off to Dubai. The leg took 5 hours and 45 minutes and I managed to sleep for the majority of it, which was good as it was going to be the only sleep I got the whole trip pretty much. When we landed in Dubai I said my farewells and best wishes to Jane as she trotted off to her next departure gate and I was off to get a 14 hour flight to Rio. Thankfully I had managed to establish I would be stopping off there for another refuel before getting to Buenos Aires saving any panic and confusion. This meant though my flight would take me to 5 different cities across four different continents I think. I was hopeful of getting some sleep on this journey but I got maybe twenty minutes max. Why? Because of a book recommended to me by Danny Meehan and Danny Lad. It's called Marching Powder by Rusty Young and had me gripped so much I finished it within the 14 hour flight. A short stop in Rio preceded the just under three hour journey to Buenos Aires and after 38 hours, endless amounts of aeroplane meals and not going to the toilet for two days I had finally arrived. I grabbed my bags and made my way to the taxi rank and got a taxi too my hostel. I'm pretty sure I got mega ripped off but I was tired and just wanted to get there. I checked in the Lime House Youth Hostel where I was reunited with Earl Alexander Johnson, That night we caught up over a couple of one litre bottles of Quilmes - The local Argentinian beer and went to bed. We were in a 12 bed dorm and there were some interesting characters in there to say the least. There was an old guy who looked like a peado version of Einstein and never said a word, a Colombian Unicyclist who also had a fondness for playing the mouth organ terribly and a guy we called Snorey McSnoreson because his snoring could probably be herd all around Argentina.
The next day we woke up for the complimentary breakfast - a bowl of cornflakes, two croissants and a mushy apple all served on a tray making you feel like you were in a prison. We then had a little wonder into town where we had a brief explore of the city and got our bearings. We thought we would do a walking tour of the city that afternoon but I got distracted watching the Arsenal vs Hull FA Cup Final. This was where I met Johnny. Johnny was an Australian from Melbourne and had been in South America a month already travelling Chile and Argentina and was also off to the World Cu in Brazil. He was a good lad and had decent Spanish which was a massive help to Earl and myself who knew the least you could possibly know. This in turn made everything extremely hard and challenging. Nobody spoke or was willing to speak a word of the queens and nothing was translated either, this made the simplest of things rather difficult like going to a cash machine or going to the supermarket it was pretty much guess work. We desperately needed to find Spanish speaking friends and despite his modesty on his Spanish speaking skills Johnny fit the bill perfectly. Don't get me wrong we weren't just friends with Johnny because of his Spanish he was good fun and liked football which is often a winner in my eyes unless you are a City or Liverpool fan, luckily he was Newcastle. That night we all went to a pub crawl in Palermo, the night didn't get off to the best start as we made our way to the wrong venue a decent pub called Rubik. We eventually got to the start of the pub crawl though and had a great night, we met people from all corners of the globe including a German guy we affectionately named Hans who looked like he could be a villain in an X-Men movie, a Venezuelan fell, An Argentinian called Julie who gave us some good advice on where to go and what to do in Buenos Aries, a French girl called Benedict, a German girl who didn't get my sense of humour and Hans French mate from Paris. I don't remember a lot of the names because I was pretty wasted. The pub crawl was one of the typical pub crawl events which offer so much and deliver so little. This night we were promised free drinks, games, and a house party at the end which had a massive swimming pool. However, there were minimal free drinks, no games and the house party was a small pants night club. And the swimming pool, don't get me started, I had seen bigger bath tubs and it was mouldy. Still we managed to have a great night and rocked in at 5am.
The next day after a hungover morning we tried to do the walking tour again, unfortunately for us though when we got to the walking tour meeting spot there was no tour guide in sight. We waited around ten minutes but there was nothing so we grabbed a bite to eat and sauntered back to the hostel. That night the plan was for us to go a football game with Johnny. But that idea got canned as River Plate won the championship sparking massive street celebrations, so we thought it would be rude not to celebrate with them. We took ourselves to the Oblisque where there was thousands upon thousands of River Plate fans, dancing, chanting singing, swinging from traffic lights, on top of kiosks, letting off flares and fireworks it was mental. I had never seen nothing like it. We met a group of fans who gave us a red wine and coke concoction to drink and taught us the chant "Boca Puttas" which means Boca Junior fans our idiots basically. We headed back to the hostel where we persuaded Allie, a 23 year old Californian girl, who was a dead ringer for Hermione from harry Potter to come out. We went to Johnny's hostel - The Millhouse which is meant to be famous for its party nights. The night lived up to expectation and as pretty blurry affair after several Quilmes and tequilas. The highlights of the night were probably Johnny getting caught wearing a police man's helmet and me helping out the Argentinian garbage men.
It turned out to be third time lucky as we finally got on a walking tour the next day. We got to see and find out about places such as The Pink House, National Congress, a house based on a book by Dante, Evita tributes and many churches. The tour was very good and the tour guide Fernando had very god knowledge and an even better catalogue of bad jokes. However the tour got me questioning religion a lot and their morals. I mean why would they spend lots of money on fancy buildings and statues, surely this money would be better placed in things they preached about? That night Johnny, Earl and I finally got to an Argentinian football game, we went to see San Lorenzo vs Velez. We were supporting the home team San Lorenzo who the pope also supports. The atmosphere was one of the best I have ever witnesses, there was singing from the first whistle to the last and their chants were far more rhythmic than the standard ones we get in England. The score ended 3-2 to Velez but what impressed me was the technique and attacking play by the teams and players. I thought I'd be having a quiet night that night but when I got back to the hostel Allie and her Belgian friend Emily were having a couple of beverages so I thought I'd join them for one. A few drinking games later though ended up with Allie and me strolling around the streets of Buenos Aires for tasty food. We ended up at a place called Nac n Pops, somewhere I had been the previous three nights for a drunken burger and very very very salty crisps.
The next day while Earl slept I planned our Brazil trip. We had heard horror stories about expensive places and places being booked up already so we decided to get things sorted earlier rather than later. It pretty much took me all day but I managed to get a route sorted where we would see the most, was the most cost effective and was easiest. We just needed to book it all up but that could wait until tomorrow, tonight was our last night in Lime House Hostel and Buenos Aires for a short spell so there was drinking to be done. It was raining cats and dogs outside so we decided on getting wasted in the hostel with Allie and another American girl from Boston who had one of my dream jobs. She was a writer for a travel guide. We played many drinking games like ring of fire, f the dealer, ride the bus and a new dice game Allie taught us 7. 11s and doubles. We had a Chinese buffet which was the least Chinese thing I have ate, it had mash potato, chicken nuggets and omelettes amongst the various non-Chinese items. The night ended for me when I passed out on the sofa, meaning we must have had a pretty goodnight.
Unfortunately the next morning didn't feel as fun as we had to be up by 10am for check out, it was no surprise we overlay and had to be woke up by the reception lady. That morning we got on with booking our Brazil trip up. I'd got all the transport done and made a start on the accommodation. But I needed to go out and get a phone, so Earl not wanting to get his Afro damp in the rain decided to hang back and finish off my hard work. Allie had kindly offered her Spanish speaking skills to assist and we went to get a phone, she also dragged me to a museum of Carlos Gardel who was big in the Argentinian entertainment industry and made the tango famous there. She also taught me how to ride the metro something I was avoiding at all costs because of the language barrier but it turns out it is really cheap and easy. Allie was turning into a big sister and little sister all in one. I felt quite protective of her because she looked so young, was on her own and semt quite vulnerable. However she was teaching me all these handy tricks to get around and helping me out, she reminded me of the 18 year old girl who picked me and Tom Basford up hitch hiking for the first time. They were both very ballsy and I admired that. We headed back to the hostel to meet up with Earl who had done pretty much nothing to complete the Brazil trip. His left me pretty pissed off and let down as I had gone to a massive effort the day before and that morning. Anyway there was no time to be angry we had a night bus to catch for our next stop which would be a town called Mendoza famed for its steak and red wine.
So until next time stay safe and take care